Thanks to Roma’s Financial Fair Play woes (wherein they needed to clear €30 million by June 30), and the strange manner in which they have addressed them, seemingly selling off players to hedge their bets for next year’s FFP guidelines, the club finds themselves in an odd position. After selling Mohamed Salah for a potential €50 million, then reaping potentially €66 million off the pending sales of Antonio Rüdiger and Leandro Paredes, Roma may have to throw down some €30 million for Salah’s replacement. Let the irony wash over you.
Now, this may have been a bit of a glib assessment of the financial situation, but you can’t escape the feeling that Roma bit off her nose to spite her face, leaving them in an uncomfortable predicament: having to replace Mohamed Salah at roughly 60 to 70% of his price point, because you’re not getting Salah-like production for less than €30 million, not in this market.
All of which brings us to today’s right wing rumor du jour, Lucas Moura, PSG’s Brazilian wunderkind. At 24-years-old, Moura already has four-and-a-half years of European experience, having cemented himself in PSGs lineup over the past three season. Moura, who is nominally a right winger, can play on the left in a pinch and has even featured in more withdrawn positions. Coming off the best season of his career—19 goals, 6 assists in all competitions—Moura certainly won’t come cheap, as PSG is demanding at least, you guessed it, €30 million for his services.
Despite that hefty fee, the Corriere dello Sport, the progenitor of this rumor, claims Roma can swallow that fee if Moura would accept a relatively paltry €3.5 million salary, which would put him right up there with Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Radja Nainggolan as Roma’s highest paid players. As an aside, don’t you just love it how they hand out high salaries to new signings so easily, yet balk and/or drag out the process for their own players?
But I digress, while Moura can’t replicate Salah’s speed (few can), he offers a bevy of skills that Eusebio Di Francesco can unleash on opponents. Moura can beat you off the dribble, he can create for others, he’s a solid crosser and passer and he’s even useful in set pieces.
Roma could certainly do worse for a Salah replacement, but you get the feeling he’s not anyone’s top choice, right?